By Sally Neel | Mountain Light Music Festival
If you missed last night’s opening performance of fabulous jazz music under the stars with the Wayne Fisher Jazz Ensemble at Keyah Grande (13211 U.S. 160 West), you still have a chance to catch performances tonight, Thursday, July 27, and Friday, July 28, beginning at 7 p.m.
Arrive early to park your car and catch a free shuttle up to the concert site.
These concerts feature the “best of the best” by highly respected musicians who are at the top of their music fields.
This year’s concerts feature the Wayne Fisher Jazz Ensemble from Baylor University under the direction of Alex Parker, senior lecturer in Jazz Studies. Guest artists include drummer Ed Taylor, professor of music theory and drumming coach at Baylor University; Chris Clark, Thomas Medeja and Sig Stefanson on trumpet; Jon Whitaker, professor of trombone from University of Alabama; and Brent Phillips, professor of trombone at Baylor University.
Tonight features Swing Night jazz charts. A dance floor will be provided for those who “gotta dance.” Of course, profound toe-tapping is also acceptable. Tickets for this evening are $50.
The concert series wraps up on Friday night with a grand finale featuring the full Wayne Fisher Jazz Ensemble playing new jazz numbers as well as standards, Latin, funk, Dixieland and some swing hits. The ensemble, conducted by Parker, will include the guest soloists, faculty members and students. Tickets for this evening are $50.
This year, thanks to the hard work of Carol Larsen, executive producer here in Pagosa Springs, Mountain Light Music Festival was granted a 501(c)(3) status, meaning all contributions are tax-deductible. The goal, after paying concert expenses, is to provide financial support to young musicians here in town, which includes (but is not limited to) private lessons, help purchasing musical instruments, money to attend music festivals and camps, scholarships, and extra support for music education programs.
“We hope that our own students will become proficient enough to be selected to attend a Mountain Light Music Festival camp and be able to learn from these amazing musicians that will be brought in from colleges and universities across the country,” Larsen said. “We are profoundly grateful to Brent Phillips, professor of trombone at Baylor University, and to Chet Russell, founder of Voice in the Wilderness here in Pagosa, for bringing this amazing opportunity to our neck of the woods. We believe that we can continue to build on this dream and make Pagosa Springs a destination for young musicians to train and develop their musical skills and find the deeper spiritual joys of making music.”
For more information on ticket purchases for these fabulous concerts, or on how you can offer your financial support to the future of Mountain Light Music Festival in Pagosa Springs, go to www.mountainlightmusicfestival.com or you may contact Larsen at (214)649-5041.
Tickets also are available at Choke Cherry Tree (56 Talisman Drive, Unit 8C) or at the Chamber of Commerce office (105 Hot Springs Blvd.).